From Grief to Healing
This is the 3rd and final part of this 3 part article, in it I share the account of the months before and after my partner Lloyd’s death in the hope that it may be helpful to others whose lives are ripped apart by the death of their spouse. Today we talk about healing through finding gratitude.
The trauma of Jane’s death overshadowed Vaughn’s news of untreatable cancer. Based on Lloyd’s experience of misdiagnosis, complications and death, Vaughn made an appointment at the Mayo Clinic for a second opinion. There he learned his cancer was operable.
I bought Vaughn a book on cancer treatment options. Browsing through it, I found a chapter on alternative therapies. A paragraph on Therapeutic Touch described exactly what happened when Jane was dying and I moved my hands above her body to soothe her. I was stunned. The text said that some people without training could do this work. I immediately bought Delores Krieger’s book, The Therapeutic Touch: How to Use Your Hands to Help or to Heal.
I took Krieger’s book with me to read while I waited my turn at Providence Hospital to have the required tuberculosis test for volunteers. On the end table beside me was a brochure for a Healing Touch Level I training at that hospital, that weekend. I called the coordinator and enrolled.
The healing begins…
I completed Level 1 and 2 in quick succession and participated in the bi-monthly Healing Touch practice sessions where we exchanged mini-treatments. The healing energy that flowed through me to Jane now flowed to others honed by the techniques I learned in class. In turn, healing energy flowed through my fellow practitioners to me. I cried on the treatment table, releasing deeply held grief from Lloyd’s death. So began the long healing process that changed my life, healed my grief, and allowed me to love–and be loved–again.
I am deeply grateful that Lloyd’s death was not in vain. Vaughn learned from Lloyd’s experience and lived to remarry. I’m sure others also sought second opinions knowing what happened in my life. I learned death is a release. Now I know that when people say they want six more months of life, what they mean is they want six months of quality life, not six months of pain, misery, and continuing debilitation. Lloyd had the grace to release himself. In doing so, he released me.
Destruction gives space for creation.
The concept of energy work was foreign to me and my academic world of measurement and analysis. But, intrigued at the possibilities, I completed Healing Touch Levels 3 and 4. The prerequisite for Level 5, was to document one hundred healing sessions. Despite my experience with Jane, I still doubted I could do this work. I offered free Healing Touch sessions in exchange for a frank evaluation by my clients of their experiences. The results were astounding. Almost a third of the clients’ issues were 75% to 100% resolved! One hundred percent said they received other benefits from the sessions in addition to those they came for. Within three months I closed my proposal writing business and opened “Healing Energy Services” for people and animals.
During those early sessions, I began to see scenes from my clients’ lives. I heard deceased people speak. I was aware of spiritual beings present in the room. I enrolled in more classes, seeking understanding. In a CDM Spiritual Center class, we created an object from a lump of clay. I fashioned a lovely, multi-petalled rose. I took pride in showing my rose to the class. Then the instructor told us to destroy our creations. I didn’t want to! I wanted to keep my beautiful rose as a memento. Nonetheless, I mashed my rose back into a formless lump. The point of the lesson was that destruction is just as necessary as creation. We can’t keep creating and creating and creating without destruction. The world would run out of room. We would run out of room. Both processes are necessary and equally valuable.
I had created a wonderful life and career with Lloyd. I wanted it to go on forever. However, its destruction allowed a new possibility that would never have manifested had I not been drifting without purpose or direction. I am grateful that I did not immerse myself in busyness after Lloyd’s death and the space that allowed me to create a new life.
The years with Lloyd were a resting place of love and support. Now, I have a different partner and a different mission. This time is equally as wonderful as the time before. I am deeply grateful for the life I had with Lloyd and the grace that got me through the devastating loss and grief after his death. I am equally grateful for the love-filled life I have now and the opportunity be of service in ways I never imagined possible.
Lloyd healed into death. I healed into life.